Chip Kelly stood and smiled for the cameras, clutching the top of a UCLA football jersey bearing his last name and No. 1 across the back.
The number connoted a spot the Bruins have not occupied in the Pac-12 Conference in nearly two decades. They have not finished atop a national poll since winning their only national championship, in 1954.
Kelly’s hiring as UCLA’s coach, those close to the process said Monday, was intended to help the Bruins reach college football’s summit once more.
“Conference championships are great,” Troy Aikman, a former UCLA and Hall of Fame quarterback who was a leading voice on the search committee, said after Kelly was introduced on campus,...